The Real Purpose Behind AnglerAction.org?

Tom HiltonTom Hilton Posts: 1,550 Captain
Here are some quotes from a guy on this board, who is apparently young and naive, and who has been selected apparently to market this "new, improved data system" called angleraction.org. I do believe that his heart is in the right place, but his actions are being used by the "not-so-innocent" to market this "new, improved data system" to implement Catch Shares in the CFH and private recreational fleets.

Here are some quotes;

"The most recent version of our online data collection program was developed by a grant provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation."

"There is no way to view this program as anything other than a very good thing for recreational anglers."

"Finally, I have a direct hand in this data project. I think it is best that I don't form an opinion about catch shares until the data starts coming in anyhow. To do so would put me at risk of including a bias that doesn't need to be there. I would think that is the logical and obvious approach that anyone can agree with. Yes I need to learn more about it as a system and it's impacts along the way, but at this point I leave the battlegrounds to y'all. I believe you will find our data useful when it starts coming in. Fair enough?"


Wow, that statement in bold is as much of a confession as he has let on regarding this project's purpose in promoting Catch Shares, despite his numerous refusals to answer pertinent questions regarding this project and its purpose regarding catch Shares..."I think it's best I don't form an opinion about catch shares until the data starts coming in anyhow." ****.

I believe that statement most likely ties this project into what many of us have feared all along when hearing that the Environmental Defense Fund was involved - using the data gleaned from this project to justify Catch Shares in the recreational sector. I also believe that many of us blew out of proportion the involvement that EDF may have had in this project. After doing a little research, it appears that EDF is a minor player when compared to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which after all, funded this latest version of angleraction.org's online data collection program.

Turns out that the NFWF is a MAJOR player when it comes to promoting Catch Shares;

http://www.nfwf.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=NFWF_s_Gulf_Strategy&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=23795

"Building on its 20-year history of investing in fish and wildlife conservation in the Gulf of Mexico, and its history of fishery conservation nationally, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and its partners propose a five-year plan to propel fisheries in the Gulf towards sustainability, which will mitigate impacts stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill."
NFWF PARTNERS: NOAA Fisheries, the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, select universities around the Gulf (previous work has been done Nova Southeastern University, University of Mississippi, University of Florida, and Texas A&M University), Texas Sea Grant, the Gulf Fishermen’s Association, Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholder’s Alliance, the Snook Foundation, Archipelago Marine Research Ltd., the Pew Charitable Trust, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Ocean Conservancy, individual fishing permit holders, and additional grant making institutions.

"As an outcome of this five-year proposal, NFWF and its partners will promote the use of environmentally sensitive fishing practices that eliminate wasteful discards of unwanted fish and develop state of the art information management systems (angleraction.org/Catch Shares)) that ensure both commercial and recreational fishermen don’t exceed their catch allocations. The strategy will focus on the most valuable fisheries in the Gulf, including the bluefin tuna, red snapper, and reef fish fisheries. As a result of these investments NFWF anticipates a yearly 38% bycatch reduction of red snapper (or 13 million juvenile red snapper saved annually) as well as 35% reduction of bycatch mortality of adult spawning bluefin tuna (representing an annual production of 1.4 billion eggs).

Furthermore, recreational fishermen will, for the first time in years, be able to stay within their allocated catch thereby saving hundreds of thousands of fish that will strengthen the populations of key coastal fish species such as red snapper, red drum, speckled trout and others. The success of this strategy will complement efforts by the industry and state governments to foster a market demand for products (Catch Shares) from well managed fisheries and restore confidence in Gulf seafood."

Wow. Did you all know that Red Drum and Speckled Trout fishermen have not been staying within their allocated catch for years now? Well, this 5 year proposal is going to correct that by "saving hundreds of thousands of fish". Exactly how is this program going to save those fish? (Hint: Catch Shares will ensure that we won't have access to the fish - they are once again "protecting" the fish from...us fishermen.)

"Strategy II: Sustainable management - Develop a state of the art information management systems that ensure both commercial and recreational fishermen don’t exceed their catch allocations
In the Gulf of Mexico, the region has suffered from overfishing for several decades with many species at critically low levels, in particular red snapper, and other reef fish such as gag grouper, greater amberjack and grey trigger fish are currently considered overfished."

Again, Wow. "In particular, Red Snapper are at critically low levels". Really? Seriously? What a load of Bravo Sierra (BS). Remember that this propaganda paper was released barely 2 MONTHS AGO.

"Reef fish, including fish like red snapper and gag grouper, are species so important to fishing, restaurants, and tourism, that they have become a integral part of the cultural identity in the Gulf of Mexico. State agencies and fishermen around the Gulf are committed to tightening their seafood supply chain as a central tenant in the economic development of Gulf fisheries. NFWF will work with fishermen to foster the development of a technology-based accountability system (angleraction.org) which will enable fishermen to keep track of and report on all fish caught, thus allowing management to account for those fish that have low economic value and are normally discarded at sea. Changing the supply chain is the next step to ensure every reef fish is retained and counted toward quota, rather than lower grade fish being thrown back in favor of trying to catch higher grade fish. To do this, individual fish will be tagged with unique trackable numbers and undergo random supplemental safety testing for contaminants so consumers can find their specific fish’s credentials and know their fish is safe, domestic and responsibly harvested. Fishermen would sign Conservation Covenants that reflect additional, voluntary steps that fishermen and vessel owners would be undertaking in pursuit of accountability such as the aforementioned mandatory no discard rule and electronic monitoring to verify catch."

"There are over 1,200 boats in the Gulf of Mexico charter fleet alone, and yet the impact of this sector to fish stocks is largely unknown. In 2010, 2.7 million residents of Gulf coast states participated in marine recreational fishing. All participants, including visitors, took nearly 22 million trips and caught and estimated 147 million fish. The most commonly caught species were spotted seatrout, red drum, sand seatrout, Atlantic croaker, and Spanish mackerel. The uncertainty that surrounds the estimates of the total number fish caught undermines the management and recovery of these species. Working with the coastal states and recreational fishing organizations NFWF will support enhanced human and electronic monitoring of the recreational fishery in the Gulf, including both the headboat fleet and individual fishermen. For example, NFWF will support the expansion of the Snook Foundations Angler Action Program from 1,000 to 10,000 participants per year, improve the online database, and support the design and development of smartphone and iPad applications for data logging. An outreach and education team will engage fishing clubs and tournaments in all Florida coastal regions in the program, and a guides program will cultivate leaders in the Florida guided fishing community who will serve as participant-mentors."

Budget
Bycatch Reduction $9,250,000
Sustainable Management $7,250,000
Critical Science Gap - Ocean Habitat Use $2,500,000
Monitoring and Evaluation $1,000,000
Program Administration $2,250,000
Total 5-Year Budget
$22,250,000


Who is on the 2012 Board of Directors for the NFWF? None other than Jane Lubchenco herself ;
http://www.nfwf.org/Content/NavigationMenu/WhoWeAre/AboutUs/BoardofDirectors/default.htm

Here's an article that illustrates the total and complete corruption of the system...this guy was supposed to be appointed the head of the NMFS but was caught cheating a Catch Share system in Alaska. They fined him $150,000, but then directed $100,000 of that $150,000 to....The NFWF to promote....Catch Shares!
http://www.gloucestertimes.com/breakingnews/x1533028051/Fine-paid-by-sentenced-ex-NMFS-hopeful-goes-to-catch-share-booster

Also, the NFWF was providing funding for Catch Shares at a time when Congress had prohibited it;
"The congressionally chartered National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has been providing funding to Lubchenco's campaign to privatize and commodify the nation's fisheries in the face of a binding vote by Congress last winter to bar new catch share conversions during the fiscal 2011 spending cycle, which ends Sept. 30.

In April, soon after Congress approved the ban on new catch share programs, the foundation approved $2.25 million in grants to groups in New England to help underwrite the costs of the catch share system which is structured to be used by members of fishing cooperatives known as sectors.

Among the Fish and Wildlife foundation's corporate partners listed on the organization's website are BP, Wal-Mart, Exxon-Mobile, Chevron, Shell Oil, Bank of America, the Walton Family Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The latter two are also major funders of the Environmental Defense Fund, which has allied with the Obama administration to promote catch share fisheries."

To quote Larry the Cable Guy...."I could go on like this all night"...but I think you get the picture; the NFWF and EDF are NOT the recreational fishermen's friends.

It appears that Brett Fitzgerald has also not been forthcoming about the role that angleraction.org is designed to have to promote the use of Catch Shares in the CFH fleet here in the Gulf initially, and the private recs in the near future.

If I am mistaken, I apologize, but I don't think I am. The wheels are in motion on this project, and time will tell I guess.

These types of shenanigans need to be exposed for what they are, and canned, and the people responsible for trying to pull them over on us need to be held accountable for their actions. Right now, NOBODY in NOAA Fishieries/NMFS are being held accountable for their actions, yet they are demanding accountability from us? What an absolute joke.

True focus needs to be placed on clear, TRANSPARENT, almost real-time data regarding how many fishermen are fishing out of each port on which day, how many fish they are catching, in addition to FISHERY-INDEPENDENT (AND NOAA INDEPENDENT) assessments of the fish actually out there swimming in the water (INCLUDING THOSE FISH SWIMMING AROUND OIL PLATFORMS AND ARTIFICIAL REEFS). I would bet my bottom nickel that once that total package of data comes in, we will see that there is no "crisis" and that bad ideas such as sector separation / catch shares are not only un-wanted, they are entirely un-needed.

All the best,
Capt. Thomas J. Hilton
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Replies

  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 3,525 Captain
    There are other programs in the works and that are currently being tried, I am skeptical though that the NMFS will even give anything that is not in line with what they want to see a second look.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • CaptBobBryantCaptBobBryant Posts: 5,716 Officer
    Wow....

    You did your homework on this one.....

    I guess it is time to continue to move forward on my project and not try and rely on piggy backing on anyone else's data.
    National Association of Recreational Anglers - Add Your Voice
    https://www.facebook.com/RecAnglers?notif_t=page_new_likes
  • ACME Ventures FishingACME Ventures Fishing Posts: 851 Officer
    Tom Hilton wrote: »
    True focus needs to be placed on clear, TRANSPARENT, almost real-time data regarding how many fishermen are fishing out of each port on which day, how many fish they are catching, in addition to FISHERY-INDEPENDENT (AND NOAA INDEPENDENT) assessments of the fish actually out there swimming in the water (INCLUDING THOSE FISH SWIMMING AROUND OIL PLATFORMS AND ARTIFICIAL REEFS). I would bet my bottom nickel that once that total package of data comes in, we will see that there is no "crisis" and that bad ideas such as sector separation / catch shares are not only un-wanted, they are entirely un-needed.

    All the best,
    Capt. Thomas J. Hilton

    This MOST people agree with. Not ALL, unfortionatly, as has been demonstrated by small
    fishing groups that flew to DC with EDF to testify against making Reliable Science MANDITORY
    in setting ACL's, the Fixing of the MSRA which sets rigid timelines, even when not based
    on reliable data, and the continued spending on Catch Shares.

    Funding of fishery policy and initives where Anti-Fishing ENGO funding takes place DOES
    create much suspicion and distrust among the fishing community. Their track record
    makes this deserving.

    As such, I talked at lenth to Brett last evening about Catch Shares, ENGO funding, NOAA
    and the NMFS's failure to provide reliable data, and how ENGO funding on Fishery Data
    collection would be met with suspicion from the fishing community. One of the most significant
    points discussed is how the data is used by the NMFS. Since NOAA has refused to allocate
    the needed funding to perform comprehensive stock assesments for most of its federally
    managed stocks, to learn the biomass, or numbers of fish in the stock, makes knowing the
    catch or landing numbers subject to the policy and bias of the NMFS. The NMFS has already
    shown that reliable data is something they are not known for providing. As such it was agreed
    that for any data provided to have any benefit to recreational fishermen, the NMFS would
    have to commit to providing reliable stock data and Participation numbers in order to determine
    the sustainability of a given fishery. This obviously is something they are not doing now.

    As to ENGO funding, I stated my opinion, that it is a bad idea. Although there is nothing more
    than I would like to see than EDF, Pew, or NFWF's money being used to ultimatly open up closed
    or overregulated fisheries, their money has primarily been used to do just the opposite. Pew's
    paid for data as an example was used in the determination to close the South Atlantic ARS. Its
    not that their data was good, since many credible sources provided data showing otherwise, but
    was rejected in favor of the data showing an Overfished status. Even if there is "No Strings Attached",
    to ENGO funding, there is still a lingering perception that bias will enter into the process as it has
    in other projects. Transparency would indeed go a long way in dispelling such a notion.

    I myself have less of an issue with where the funding comes from (so long as there is NO
    conditions set with it), but do have a concern with how the NMFS uses it. Again, unless we know
    the "Inventory" level FIRST, having the 'sales' or catch's can be used however the fisheries managers
    want. This only makes sense, but when dealing with an agency that has taken great liberties
    in determining its "Estimated" stock and catch numbers, it cannot be assumed to happen.

    Since this program will require trust and input from fishery stakeholders, I expressed my opinion that
    making sure these very people are reassured about the nature of the program, and that funding
    sources will never be allowed to add bias into the collection and compilation of the fishing data
    being given by the anglers, was key to its sucess. I also noted that distrust of these ENGO's was
    real and deserving, and as such must be addressed in an open manner. Additionally, I noted that
    great pressure must be placed upon NMFS to supply the data needed to allow catch data to be
    used in an unbiased and scientific manner.

    Bottom line is, YES we need accurate landing and catch data for the recreational sector, and NOAA
    has refused to collect this. However, unless NOAA policy changes and the push to fund market Based
    Management changes to funding Science Based Data collection, all effort to provide good catch data
    can and quite likely will be used to further the current policy which has only seen more closures and
    more burdensome restrictions than doing good for recreational fishing. Remember NOAA could have
    obtained this data themselves......If they really wanted to! So any recreational catch data collected
    MUST be used togeather with a complete picture of the fisheries, including the commercial landing
    data, the most important biomass levels of the stocks, and of coarse the number of total participants
    in the fishery.

    Although I agree, that working with EDF, Pew and NFWF is a slipery slope when the issue is the fisheries,
    I would not be opposed to taking their money, IF, this lead to correcting the problem they created
    with their undue influence in fishery management. It will require openness and transparency to do so.
  • Tom HiltonTom Hilton Posts: 1,550 Captain
    Acme,
    I believe that the dishonesty in what the NFWF is doing here is putting $$$$ into a data program with the pre-determined goal of justifying implementation of Catch Shares. No NGO is going to put $$$$ into something to correct the problem they and other NGOs created with their undue influence - their $$$$ in itself is undue influence.

    If they just came out and were honest about their intentions, then that would be one thing - but they aren't.

    What should be of great concern to the inshore fishermen who have looked at the red snapper issue as "not their problem" is that now these NGOs are looking at spotted seatrout, red drum, sand seatrout, Atlantic croaker, and Spanish mackerel and claiming that they need "protection". "The uncertainty that surrounds the estimates of the total number fish caught undermines the management and recovery of these species." Wow. I didn't know that the inshore fish listed above are in need of "recovery", but according to the NFWF, they are coming to the rescue!!!

    As I have said all along, Catch Shares are not about Red Snapper - they are about every fish that we pursue from croaker to marlin.

    Also of note is the timing of when the Snook Foundation changed its name to include "Gamefish" back in August of last year, when the EDF representative was at the Snook Foundation board meeting. The Plan is to design the use of this angleraction.org to encompass every gamefish (BUT especially red snapper) to be brought under the recreational catch share umbrella.

    We need to demand an open, HONEST, transparent data collection process that has no pre-determined agenda - otherwise - NO DEAL!
    Capt. Thomas J. Hilton
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    Tom Hilton wrote: »


    ............................... of note is the timing of when the Snook Foundation changed its name to include "Gamefish" back in August of last year, when the EDF representative was at the Snook Foundation board meeting. The Plan is to design the use of this angleraction.org to encompass every gamefish (BUT especially red snapper) to be brought under the recreational catch share umbrella.

    Tell us about that, Brett.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • brettfitzbrettfitz Posts: 433 Officer
    Sure thing Gary.

    We feel we have a product that will empower and benefit all recreational anglers, not just snook anglers. We have made a small name for ourselves, built a reputation as anglers who care about angling rights and fish (traditionally via habitat), but we were mostly known by snook anglers.

    Through that habitat paradigm, we always talked about the fact that if snook habitat is healthy, so are hundreds of other fish, shrimp, etc. Everyone benefits.

    We also found that once we opened the AAP to trout, reds, tarpon, permit, and bones, some folks that were outside the geographic range just assumed we were all about snook, didn't fish for snook, and therefore didn't bother to get to know what we are about. So we've talked about a name change for the past few years. In the end, we decided we had branded "Snook Foundation" enough that we didn't want to completely turn away from it, yet we needed to change it somehow to try to get more folks involved. If you look further back in our minutes, I think you will see that the name change is something we considered over a stretch of time that encompassed a few meetings. Pulling the trigger on that date had nothing to do with who was there that day.

    If you peek at our Smart Angler program, which is designed to be a self-teaching quiz about habitat, fisheries, etc - you will see that it encompasses all species of fish, and has been around for a few years. Admittedly, it has taken a back seat recently but is back on the radar. That program is pretty cool, and worth looking at. I'm glad it came up a a primary goal again, because it's development is going to be fun and beneficial to anglers.

    Anyone is invited to our board meetings. Our next one will be in July in Jensen Beach, the morning of the 7th I believe. Once the minutes from the previous meeting are reviewed by all present, they are posted on our site. Standard 501c3 stuff.

    *Edit* I don't really care what EDF's goal is, or West Marine, or anyone else that is supporting the program. It is NOT their data. Can't say that enough. They don't have access to it. They can't see the raw numbers unless they go through a formal research application, which we are also boning up on with help from some very experienced researchers at UF. As I told ACME last night, we've already had conversations with TM and copyright attorneys to discuss the best ways to protect anglers from dishonest use of raw data. We'll do the very best we can with that. Having the ultimate date being "housed" by recreational anglers sounds way better than anyone else being in charge of it.
    "A 'real' fisherman is one who thinks like I do. There are more of us around than you might suspect."
    -John Gierach
  • Tom HiltonTom Hilton Posts: 1,550 Captain
    Brett's response kinda reminds me of that movie where the wife came home early and caught her husband in bed with another woman. She can't believe what she is seeing, and her husband just goes into complete denial.

    "What are you doing in bed with that woman?" "What woman?" That woman right there getting dressed!" "Don't know what you are talking about honey...."

    "Catch Shares?" "What Catch Shares?" His silence on the subject is deafening.

    His nonchalance about what the NGOs' goals are regarding the end use of the data provided by his program is disconcerting, to say the least.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    I'm familiar w/ The Snook Foundation. I have no reason to not believe what Brett says. That said it is not beyond my imagination to imagine that they are just the sort of well meaning organization to be targeted by Ocean Conservancy , Defender's , EDF, etc.

    I'm afraid that knowing that NMFS is not well known to recognise any independent fisheries data that these data will not be used at all to accomplish anything meaningful or otherwise.

    NMFS is not interested in data collection or stock assessments as demonstrated by their spending priorities. Its politically naive to think that providing them with anything no matter how compelling but not in support of their public policy is anything but an exercise in futility.

    Catch data is always disputable and really meaningless in the absence of indisputable stock assessments, which there is an intentional dearth of. But if Brett finds some value in doing it, that's great.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • CaptBobBryantCaptBobBryant Posts: 5,716 Officer
    I'm familiar w/ The Snook Foundation. I have no reason to not believe what Brett says. That said it is not beyond my imagination to imagine that they are just the sort of well meaning organization to be targeted by Ocean Conservancy , Defender's , EDF, etc.

    I'm afraid that knowing that NMFS is not well known to recognise any independent fisheries data that these data will not be used at all to accomplish anything meaningful or otherwise.

    NMFS is not interested in data collection or stock assessments as demonstrated by their spending priorities. Its politically naive to think that providing them with anything no matter how compelling but not in support of their public policy is anything but an exercise in futility.

    Catch data is always disputable and really meaningless in the absence of indisputable stock assessments, which there is an intentional dearth of. But if Brett finds some value in doing it, that's great.

    Yes congress must force NMFS to not make any changes to FMP or impose rules unless they have a recent stock assessment (within 24 months) to base their actions on.
    National Association of Recreational Anglers - Add Your Voice
    https://www.facebook.com/RecAnglers?notif_t=page_new_likes
  • brettfitzbrettfitz Posts: 433 Officer
    Gary,
    I believe our data will be formatted in the ways it needs to be. I know that is not the whole problem, and I get what you are saying about it not being used if it doesn't support the goals of the current policy. "Like pushing a glacier uphill."

    But suppose we collect enough data that we have leverage to show that they are simply wrong about who is catching what, when and where?

    In essence, we'll be doing their job. And if we do it right, it will serve a purpose. It won't show what the biomass currently is, but it sure will show that what they have projected as the current biomass is wrong, and will give us leverage to push them to complete that part of the puzzle. I believe anyhow.

    I know state and federal structures are very different. We're helping at the state level now, so no matter what I won't become Sysiphus.
    "A 'real' fisherman is one who thinks like I do. There are more of us around than you might suspect."
    -John Gierach
  • Mackeral SnatcherMackeral Snatcher Posts: 10,365 AG

    ........I'm afraid that knowing that NMFS is not well known to recognise any independent fisheries data that these data will not be used at all to accomplish anything meaningful or otherwise.

    NMFS is not interested in data collection or stock assessments as demonstrated by their spending priorities. Its politically naive to think that providing them with anything no matter how compelling but not in support of their public policy is anything but an exercise in futility.

    Catch data is always disputable and really meaningless in the absence of indisputable stock assessments, which there is an intentional dearth of...


    Sad but true.
    They want our data like they want our input at council meetings.
    THERE SHOULD BE NO COMMERCIAL FISHING ALLOWED FOR ANY SPECIES THAT IS CONSIDERED OVERFISHED.
  • Aces FullAces Full Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    Yep, I've made up my mind. Based on the full fledged BS concerning this project and it's deep ties to groups whose main goal is to profit off of shutting out recreational fishermen, I will be adamantly opposed to ever using this data and at our next advisory panel meeting.

    Every non answer/response that has been put forth clearly appears to have been precisely scripted by trained environmental activists.

    Your a complete fool if you think you can control the data and how it is used. You are a pawn and are being used just like Gary Jarvis and his greedy minions are being used.

    Thanks for clearing this up Tom.

    Excellent work uncovering the true agenda of this data collection farce.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • brettfitzbrettfitz Posts: 433 Officer
    Aces,
    You are certainly entitled to your own opinions.

    But I have to point out one of your errors. My posts here are not scripted by anyone. They are my opinions, or statements, based on my personal knowledge and first hand experiences. That is all.

    Feel free to contact me directly.
    "A 'real' fisherman is one who thinks like I do. There are more of us around than you might suspect."
    -John Gierach
  • TrippleTailIVTrippleTailIV Posts: 197 Officer
    Ok, so NFWF has ties to Catch Shares. No surprise.

    Can anyone out there show evidence that angler action is they're patsy? Yes, evidence. Not a page long rant on the evils of NGOs (which while informative, offers no real evidence).

    So, evidence, like a statement or video etc.

    This witch hunt reminds me of McCarthyism. Sort of like saying, Bob knows Jim and Jim read Karl Marx, therefore, Bob is a communist. Come-on guys, I'd like to know if any of the people on the forum have actually talked to Brett before convicting him. Anyone? 'cause I would listen to you.

    I just don't get this hate mentality we are imposing on our own. Not to be all warm and fluffy, but this is how we lose everytime. Divide and conquer is what the Big Bads of the fishing world have done, and this is the perfect example.

    If anything, the first post in this forum should have been delivered directly to Brett. That's what a 'brother' or 'friend' would do. Not black list him.
  • Tom HiltonTom Hilton Posts: 1,550 Captain
    Ok, so NFWF has ties to Catch Shares. No surprise.

    Can anyone out there show evidence that angler action is they're patsy? Yes, evidence. Not a page long rant on the evils of NGOs (which while informative, offers no real evidence).

    So, evidence, like a statement or video etc.

    This witch hunt reminds me of McCarthyism. Sort of like saying, Bob knows Jim and Jim read Karl Marx, therefore, Bob is a communist. Come-on guys, I'd like to know if any of the people on the forum have actually talked to Brett before convicting him. Anyone? 'cause I would listen to you.

    I just don't get this hate mentality we are imposing on our own. Not to be all warm and fluffy, but this is how we lose everytime. Divide and conquer is what the Big Bads of the fishing world have done, and this is the perfect example.

    If anything, the first post in this forum should have been delivered directly to Brett. That's what a 'brother' or 'friend' would do. Not black list him.

    Triple,
    We are under assault by the extreme anti-fishing groups to implement Catch Shares in the recreational sector. This project angleraction.org will facilitate that assault - I guess you didn't read the 5 year Plan where NFWF and its "partners" laid it out for you.

    Brett may very well have the best intentions in the world, and I acknowledged that - but that doesn't excuse his complicity in this frontal assault on all of our fishing rights. It's like a scientist having the best intentions of developing nuclear power to ease the fuel crisis, and the **** wanting to use that technology to nuke us - luckily we were able to defeat them BEFORE that happened.

    Another example of how NGOs affect how the organizations do their business is the recent name change to broaden the scope of their cause from Snook to EVERY gamefish. I'm sure that the name change was part of the package relative to the $$$$ provided - "Hey, we'll give you this money on the condition that the project encompasses the fish that we are interested in controlling through our market-based initiatives (Catch Shares)"

    The purpose of this thread is to provide truthful, accurate data, which I have. You may not like the data provided, but I guarantee you that it is important information for ALL of us to be aware of.

    All the best,
    Capt. Thomas J. Hilton
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    The evidence is there. And it is in the funding.

    Snook foundation does not do biology. They focus primarily on state habitat related issues,e.g. coastal capital improvement projects and land development. They have no history or expertise in fisheries management other than commenting on it during rulemaking.

    That's not a bad thing all.

    But this lack of experience and expertise in basic biological research; developing statistically valid data collection programs or QA/QC SOPs or verification protocol, data summary or analysis, essentially ranks them as amateurs suddenly gaining the attention of a national environmental advocacy organization to the extent that they gave them money to build it, is evidence enough of a connection.

    This funding opportunity is nothing short of miraculous to an organization suffering like most with funding and membership issues. It must have looked like it was too good to be true.

    It was.

    National ENGOs don't just give away money despite the nice guys Rick and Brett are and this takes nothing away from their efforts to make Florida a better place.

    EDF is well known to leverage their interests by funding these kinds of grass roots advocacy initiatives. They are adept and insidious and well practiced in their recruitment techniques.

    This is politics.

    If there are sources of free money without any obligation, spoken or otherwise, that anyone is aware of out there, please point it in my direction.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • markw4321markw4321 Posts: 171 Officer
    Not definitive proof, but it does make one wonder ....


    Angler Action program seeks to harness recreational angler’s catch information
    Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
    What fisherman doesn’t like to brag a little about what they caught?

    The Snook & Gamefish Foundation is taking bragging rights to a scientific level by encouraging anglers to log their catches online at www.angleraction.org.

    The foundation is building a recreational catch data base that is expected to help marine scientists get a better handle on the populations of six popular inshore game fish — snook, spotted seatrout, redfish, bonefish, tarpon and permit.

    The recreational fishing group’s angler data collection effort began about 15 months ago and focused on snook. Nearly 1,000 snook-fishing trips have been logged so far.

    Snook Foundation Executive Director Rick Roberts said catch data will help the recreational anglers as a group have a voice at the table when it comes to negotiating fisheries management tools such as catch shares.


    The Snook Foundation is urging recreational anglers to go to www.angleraction.org and log their catches. For snook and other game fish anglers simply note where they caught the fish, whether it was under the legal-to-keep slot size, over the slot or in the slot.

    Anglers also note whether the fish was released in good condition. Anglers can add information about how long they fished and how many fish they caught. That helps scientists keep tabs on the health of game fish populations.

    Snook & Gamefish Foundation Communications Director Brett Fitzgerald, author of “Sportsman’s Best: Snook,” said anglers should write down the information while fishing and submit it to angleraction.org when they get back to a computer…unless they’re logging in their catches from the bridge or a boat on a smart phone.

    Logging a catch should take about 5 minutes on the first visit to angleraction.org and 3 minutes or less on subsequent visits, Fitzgerald said.

    Bob Muller of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Research Institute plans to use snook data collected through angleraction.org for the upcoming snook population assessment.

    Fish on, then log on.
  • EggsuckindogEggsuckindog Posts: 1,528 Officer
    This part kinda caught my eye - how are they going to reduce by-catch moratality by 38% by knowing how many fish we catch???
    Nice budget by the way too

    "As an outcome of this five-year proposal, NFWF and its partners will promote the use of environmentally sensitive fishing practices that eliminate wasteful discards of unwanted fish and develop state of the art information management systems (angleraction.org/Catch Shares)) that ensure both commercial and recreational fishermen don’t exceed their catch allocations. The strategy will focus on the most valuable fisheries in the Gulf, including the bluefin tuna, red snapper, and reef fish fisheries. As a result of these investments NFWF anticipates a yearly 38% bycatch reduction of red snapper (or 13 million juvenile red snapper saved annually) as well as 35% reduction of bycatch mortality of adult spawning bluefin tuna (representing an annual production of 1.4 billion eggs).
    1976 SeaCraft master Angler - Merc 200 XRi
    dscf1243-1.jpg
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    I'm curious, Brett. What persuaded you to seek the advice of EDF's (as well as other radical anti Fishing / sector separation/ catch share / MPA ENGO) lawyer and lobbyist as an expert on fisheries management to help you understand what your program would effect? Did you find him in the yellow pages? What was his hourly rate and expenses for travel you incurred to benefit of his expertise?

    Jack K. Sterne, Co-Founder and General Counsel

    Jack Sterne is an environmental lawyer and strategic consultant with a two-decade record of success across a wide range of environmental and energy issues. He has been actively involved in shaping and implementing ocean policy and legislation for the last decade, and has led multiple projects that crafted consensus among environmental organizations, renewable energy companies, and utilities on appropriate national policy for ocean renewable energy development. He has provided strategic planning, coalition management, and policy and litigation counsel to a wide variety of environmental and energy clients, including the Offshore Wind Development Coalition, Environmental Defense Fund, Lazar Foundation, Oak Foundation, Ormat Technologies, Ocean Conservancy, Pacific Energy Ventures, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, Sierra Club, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Wilderness Society. Jack was an official advisor on ocean issues for the transition team of President Obama. He is a frequent speaker at various energy, environment and legal conferences around the country, and has served on numerous non-profit boards. Jack is an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, teaching Ocean and Coastal Law. He has a B.A. from the University of Virginia, and a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School.

    Dr. Wilmot and Mr. Sterne are the lead authors of a groundbreaking new foundation-sponsored report, Turning the Tide: Charting a Course to Improve the Effectiveness of Public Advocacy for the Oceans (2003). The report identifies the “hallmarks of success” of noteworthy public advocacy organizations and uses these hallmarks to make important recommendations about improving the effectiveness of ocean conservation efforts in the United States.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • brettfitzbrettfitz Posts: 433 Officer
    Gary,

    I'm not the one who invited Jack, I don't have the answers to those questions in front of me.

    I read that bio too. Having met him, I'm satisfied that he is not "anti fishing," but you ought to give him a call yourself. He's easy to talk to.
    "A 'real' fisherman is one who thinks like I do. There are more of us around than you might suspect."
    -John Gierach
  • markw4321markw4321 Posts: 171 Officer
    brettfitz wrote: »
    Gary,

    I'm satisfied that he is not "anti fishing," /QUOTE] :rotflmao ROTFLMAO
  • Aces FullAces Full Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    brettfitz wrote: »
    Gary,

    I'm not the one who invited Jack, I don't have the answers to those questions in front of me.

    I read that bio too. Having met him, I'm satisfied that he is not "anti fishing," but you ought to give him a call yourself. He's easy to talk to.

    Keep this up, and you too can become the next "traitors to our sport" and get your name in lights in the Big Game Fishing Journal!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • FV Miss MaryFV Miss Mary Posts: 497 Officer
    It seems David Wilmot, Jack K. Sterne, and Dave Festa are working together.

    http://www.oceanchampions.org/who-we-are.html

    Support the Use of Catch Shares for Fisheries Management

    It can be argued that traditional fisheries management (limiting days at sea) has failed to achieve conservation objectives or to help fishermen. Rather than continue the mistakes of the past, we believe alternatives should be considered. While very innovative, catch shares are not a new idea. In fact, they have been implemented in hundreds of fisheries around the world both large and small. Today there are over a dozen U.S. catch shares programs in place with many more under development (where fishermen and fishery managers have voted to adopt them). Catch shares may not be ideal for all fisheries, but where they make sense, they represent locally-designed market-based solutions that have been proven to prevent or reverse overfishing and enhance fishery economics.

    We believe catch shares are a powerful tool in the effort to implement the M-S Act that greatly improve our chances at ending overfishing. The reasons are clear:

    They have a history of success in improving both fish stocks and fishing economics.
    Fishermen want them – sometimes because catch shares may be a way to keep fisheries open that would otherwise be closed.
    Success in Washington, D.C. requires political support. The Obama administration supports catch shares, and is willing to invest the money necessary to implement them correctly, and there is support on Capitol Hill from a number of key Members.
    So many of the elements of fishery management plans that are often absent – science-based catch limits, effective monitoring, data collection, and enforcement - are fundamental elements of a catch share programs.

    Ocean Champions wants to end overfishing, reduce bycatch, and protect critical fish habitat. We feel strongly that catch shares programs increase the likelihood of success in these areas, while also offering many benefits to fishermen. Thus, we are working to support the Obama Administration and Dr. Lubchenco in her campaign to improve fisheries management and implement practical solutions.

    http://www.oceanchampions.org/ending-overfishing.html
  • Tom HiltonTom Hilton Posts: 1,550 Captain
    The Big Green Money Machine - How anti-fishing activists bought control of NOAA

    http://www.fishtruth.net/Connections.htm
  • brettfitzbrettfitz Posts: 433 Officer
    Let me make sure i have this distilled down properly.

    There is distrust of EDF, and no love for catch shares from your perspective.

    I have told you that EDF does not have access to AAP data, nor any input on design, nor are we doing this in ANY way to support catch shares.

    You are passionate about fishing, recreational angler rights, and fishing in the future.
    I am passionate about fishing, recreational angler rights, and fishing in the future.

    Nobody who actually knows me will refute those statements. Nobody who actually knows me doubts my fortitude either.

    I get that you are afraid of outsiders.

    I just choose to be proactive, and this is the method I am taking. We are collecting data for two main reasons: one to show that recreational anglers can actually work together towards a common goal and better fisheries. Another to have hard data to bring to the table in an effort to make managers accountable for their fishery decisions.

    So far as I can see, we all keep restating our points. Now look at me, I'm doing it yet again.

    I have not hid who I am, nor what I am doing. I encourage personal conversation with anyone of you. I also have said that I would support what you are doing so long as it is rational and has the best interest of recreational fisheries but so far nobody has given me anything else to support.

    I still hold that we have the same ultimate goals. If we stay divided, none of us will win. Count on that.
    "A 'real' fisherman is one who thinks like I do. There are more of us around than you might suspect."
    -John Gierach
  • CaptBobBryantCaptBobBryant Posts: 5,716 Officer
    Brett...

    Some of us have been involved in this fight going back decades....we have seen groups like EDF, GRN, and now the upstart usurpers in the panhandle created by EDF.

    I have personally been almost taken in by EDF

    To date...I am the only one who produced competing analysis of NMFS data that was considered by Judge Steel way back in 2005. EDF fought us all the way and behold in 2007 NMFS conceded that there was no overfishing of Red Grouper back in 2004.

    If EDF were removed form the equation....I am sure you would see very enthusiastic support...
    For those of us with battle scars, we must keep our enemy at arms length...and do not be duped....for all their angler friendly talk....it is always the actions that speak louder than words and their actions have always been 180 degrees out of alignment with recreational anglers.

    It places a stain on an otherwise laudable plan and project.

    Do not take lightly the resentment by anglers of EDF and GRN and NFWF.....it is deep seated.
    National Association of Recreational Anglers - Add Your Voice
    https://www.facebook.com/RecAnglers?notif_t=page_new_likes
  • brettfitzbrettfitz Posts: 433 Officer
    Duly noted Capt. Bryant. And one thing I will say is that truth has been very deeply engrained as a result of these threads.

    I think we (SGF) are farther along than most people think, and more cautious than most people think.
    "A 'real' fisherman is one who thinks like I do. There are more of us around than you might suspect."
    -John Gierach
  • FV Miss MaryFV Miss Mary Posts: 497 Officer
    "I'm curious, Brett. What persuaded you to seek the advice of EDF's (as well as other radical anti Fishing / sector separation/ catch share / MPA ENGO) lawyer and lobbyist as an expert on fisheries management to help you understand what your program would effect? Did you find him in the yellow pages? What was his hourly rate and expenses for travel you incurred to benefit of his expertise?"

    I am curious as well. Did you meet with Dave Festa?
  • brettfitzbrettfitz Posts: 433 Officer
    I am curious as well. Did you meet with Dave Festa?
    no.

    I'm curious. If Dave Festa called you and asked to meet you to talk, would you?
    "A 'real' fisherman is one who thinks like I do. There are more of us around than you might suspect."
    -John Gierach
  • FV Miss MaryFV Miss Mary Posts: 497 Officer
    No.
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